Soundtrack – Moonraker (1979) – Lp
Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond, and was the third of the three Bond films for which the theme song was performed by Shirley Bassey.
Label: United Artists Records
Catalog# 5C 062-82696
Frank Sinatra was considered for the vocals, before Johnny Mathis was approached and offered the opportunity. Mathis was unhappy about the song and withdrew from the project, leaving the producers scrambling for a replacement. Kate Bush declined, so John Barry offered the song to Bassey within just weeks of the release date. As a result, Bassey made the recordings with very short notice and never regarded the song ‘as her own’ as she had never had the chance to perform it or promote it first. The film uses two versions of the title theme song, a ballad version heard over the main titles, and a disco version for the end titles. Confusingly, the United Artists single release labelled the tracks on the 7″ single as “Moonraker (Main Title)” for the version used to close the film and “Moonraker (End Title)” for the track that opened the film. The song failed to make any real impact on the charts, which may partly be attributed to Bassey’s failure to promote the single, given the last minute decision and the way in which it was quickly recorded to meet the schedule.
The score for Moonraker marked a turning point in Barry’s output, abandoning the Kentonesque brass of his earlier Bond scores and instead scoring the film with slow, rich string passages. Moonraker uses for the first time since Diamonds Are Forever a piece of music called “007” (briefly, and late in track 7, “Bond Arrives in Rio and Boat Chase”), the secondary Bond theme composed by Barry which was introduced in From Russia with Love.
Unusually, the score was recorded in Paris – all of Barry’s previous Bond scores had been recorded at London’s CTS Studios. The film’s production base was in France and it was decided the film would be scored there as well. Like some Bond films, the score for Moonraker has never received an extended release, due to the loss of the original session masters which appear to have been misplaced in France.
1. Main Title – Moonraker (Vocals By Shirley Bassey) (3:05)
2. Space Lazer Battle (2:43)
3. Miss Goodhead Meets Bond (2:43)
4. Cable Car And Snake Fight (3:01)
5. Bond Lured To Pyramid (2:01)
1. Flight Into Space (6:22)
2. Bond Arrives In Rio And Beat Chase (2:34)
3. Centrifuge And Corrine Put Down (2:31)
4. Bond Smells A Rat (2:20)
5. End Title – Moonraker (Vocals By Shirley Bassey) (2:27)